National record holder Khushbir Kaur and Manish Singh Rawat both finished a creditable fifth in the women's and men's 20km events of the IAAF Race Walking Challenge here today. Khushbir clocked an hour 34 minutes and one second, her best timing of the season, to finish fifth in the women's 20km race walk event.
Her national record stands at 1:31:40, which she had set at the IAAF World Race Walking Cup at this same city in 2014. Chinese walkers swept all the top-three positions with Lu Xiuzhi (1:31:01), Yang Jiayu (1:31:04) and Wang Na (1:31:09) grabbing the gold, silver and bronze respectively. In the men's 20km event, Manish Singh Rawat clocked one hour 23 minute and 58 second, his best timing of the season, to also finish at fifth overall and first among Asian athletes in the hot and humid conditions. Brazil's Caio Oliveria (1:22:16) grabbed the first place while Mexico's Julio Cesar Salazar (1:22:58) finished second and Lebogang Shange (1:23:45) of South Africa was third. Both Khushbir and Rawat have already qualified for the IAAF World Championships to be held in London in August. Commenting on the performance of Khushbir and Rawat, Indian race walk head coach Alexander Artsybashev said, "I am very pleased with the performance of both the walkers. Conditions were not easy in Taicang and it was hot, close to 32 degree Celsius. "For Manish, the best thing was that he finished ahead of all other Asian athletes.
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